IBC Students Display World Class Artistry In Breathtaking Showcase

February 13, 2024

L-R Thomas Willcuts & Jada Crane – Photo by Tom Alvarez.

Tucked away in a nondescript office Park in Carmel, is a school that is turning out dancers who are the future stars of classical and contemporary ballet, modern and neo-ballet. Founded by artistic director Alyona Yakovleva-Randall, assisted by a first-rate faculty, the Indiana Ballet Conservatory presented “Love Is in the Air” Saturday, at its main studio, to show off its phenomenal company of gifted students.

Featuring students residing in the area and those from other parts of the US, and whose ages range from 9-18, the private event was presented in front of a small, yet thoroughly engaged audience of donors, supporters, and parents. Due to the outstanding artistry and advanced technical abilities of the neophyte dancers, it truly was a rarified experience to witness such extraordinary talent in such a setting. I had seen last year’s “Love Is In The Air,” as well as its magnificent production of “The Nutcracker,” so I knew what to expect but, was nevertheless, impressed once again.

From 2009 to 2016 I had the privilege to attend eight annual, “Evening with the Stars,” gala performances presented by the former Indianapolis City Ballet, led by New York City based Kevin Hesse and Jolinda Menendez. The lavishly produced event spotlighted the world’s most famous stars of classical and contemporary ballet, performing excerpts from classic as well as modern and contemporary ballets, Naturally, the experience of witnessing all that extraordinary work was life changing and solidified my love and appreciation for ballet which is stronger than ever. “Love Is in the Air,’ with its 95-minute program consisting of thirty pieces, choreographed by Yakovleva-Randall and others left me with a similar feeling I had upon seeing the previously mentioned galas — one of dazzled wonderment.

With each dancer demonstrating near flawless execution and appealing stage presence, several stood out for their personalities, technique, and musicality. They included Phoebe Ingram, 13, and Justin Hamilton, 18, who partnered beautifully in “Tales from the Loop,” and “Le Corsaire Pas” and Thomas Wilcutts, 13, who showed star quality in “Finding Your Way.”  Highly entertaining were Hamilton, Wilcutts and Luke Dersken in the comic “Lost and Found.”  Also impressive was the classical ensemble in magnificent modern and contemporary pieces titled “The City of Derna,” in Act 1 and “Divertissment” which closed the show.

Haylie Fletcher. Photo by Tom Alvarez

Under the leadership of Yakovleva-Randall, former Indianapolis Ballet principal dancer Chris Lingner, now serving as IBC’s operations manager and Board President Rick Griskie, the school is poised to grow exponentially as it becomes more widely known. That evolution continues when IBC teams up with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra for an evening of music and dance March 16 at the Palladium featuring Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” suite, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8, and Smetana’s “Bartered Bride” overture. For tickets visit thecenterpresents.org.


For further information about the Indiana Ballet Conservatory visit indianaballetconservatory.org



photo: Josh Humble

About Tom

Journalist, producer, director, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, arts administrator, TV contributor, actor, model, writer and lyricist, Tom Alvarez has had an extensive career in media and the fine arts and continues to be an enthusiastic and devoted fan of both. His passion and unique background grant him insight, access and perspective to cover, promote and review the arts in Indianapolis, Central Indiana and beyond. Follow him on social media @tomalvarezartswriter and @tomalvarez1.

Alvarez has been writing about theatre, dance, music, cinema and visual arts for 40 years. His work has appeared in the Indianapolis Star, NUVO, Indianapolis Monthly, Arts Indiana, Unite Magazine, Dance Magazine, NOTE Magazine, and Examiner.com, among many other print and online platforms. A former contributor to Across Indiana on WFYI-TV, he currently has a regular performing arts segment on WISH-TV’s Life. Style. Live!

A principal of Klein & Alvarez Productions, LLC, Alvarez co-created “Calder, The Musical” and is the managing director of Magic Thread Cabaret. As an actor-model, he has appeared in numerous TV and print ads and is represented by the Helen Wells Agency and Heyman Talent Artists Agency.

On the Aisle Team

  • Creation, content, and publishing: Tom Alvarez
  • Graphic design:- Casey Ross
  • Web development: Clay Mabbitt

Leave a comment

* required field